Tripartite Meeting held on 05 April 2016
The Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Major-General Luciano Portolano, chaired a regular tripartite meeting with senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at the UN position at Ras Al Naqoura today.
The discussions focused on issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701, air and ground violations, situation along the Blue Line and its ongoing visible marking, as well as the issue of withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Ghajar.
Major-General Portolano expressed his satisfaction that since the last tripartite meeting the past two months have been devoid of any major incident along the Blue Line or in the UNIFIL area of operations.
“The parties’ commitment to the implementation of resolution 1701 and your continued cooperation with the Mission have been acknowledged by the UN Secretary-General, who has encouraged both parties to take advantage of this window of opportunity presented by the calm along the Blue Line to make concrete progress on the ground,” said the UNIFIL Head of Mission. He also called for making every effort to ensure that the cessation of hostilities is sustained.
Major-General Portolano noted that the strong liaison and coordination arrangements with UNIFIL have been instrumental in minimizing and halting violations, and in strengthening the security infrastructure the respective sides have built, with UNIFIL’s support, along the Blue Line.
Highlighting the points made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his recent visit to Lebanon and the UNIFIL Headquarters, Major-General Portolano raised two points of “imminent concern” for the tripartite forum: the vulnerability of the Blue Line to regional developments, and the related imperative for both parties, working with UNIFIL, to preserve the cessation of hostilities.